January 22nd, 2010

pets: Sun Dancer

Prepping for the worst....

or, random babblings 99% of the population would consider nutty. :shrug: This stems from a discussion in my comments yesterday - since I didn't really have any ideas for today's post, I'll just ramble about the comments, instead. Thanks! :grin:

Collapse ) Yes, I rambled. But....I feel better now. :lol: Bottom line - no, you don't need fiber critters. They'll be useful, but not - for the most part - a necessity. BUT. If you are just now starting to buy, and IF you are willing to learn to spin, then yes - get them.

ETA: Ure mentioned today that people should work on adding skillsets to their life...like sewing/cooking/etc. :snicker:
Firefly: Jayne hacking Simon's LJ

2 in 1 day! Aren't you lucky??

Book review time! I LOVE the printed word, and think that you can never have too many books, or too much knowledge. The 'net is great...but what'll you do when it goes down? Anyway....

The other day, I told my husband I was expecting 2 more goat books. He asked me "Why? Don't we have some already?" I was gob-smacked - I mean, I believe that one can NEVER have too many books. (Look at my weaving room for proof of that - I have a 2 bookcases crammed full of books on weaving/spinning/dyeing/knitting/tatting/bobbin lace (which I do NOT do (yet)/sewing.....)

Plus, we only had 3 books dedicated to goat care (plus Carla Emery's Country Living Bible...but that's just a quick overview. Enough to get you started, maybe). The best one, IMO, is "Raising Dairy Goats the Modern Way" - but it's kinda lacking in the medical portion. "Living with Goats"....don't waste your money. It's mostly a "Hey! We have goats! Have some stories!", not a real reference book. (For example, they talk about the fact that their house is attached to the barn. No mention of *why*, or anything - they say "Oh! It's so convienent in the winter!", but they don't mention how smelly it'll get during the hot summer months (I have lived *near* a horse barn. Trust me, it'll be smelly!), or how noisy critters are at night, or stuff like that.) The 3rd one, "Goats: Small Scale Herding"...doesn't really cover the dairy aspect, just the meat. So......no, we *didn't* have "enough" goat books.

I have horses. I've had horses for.....over 20 years, now. :gulp: I have 2 shelves of nothing but horse books - vet books, care and feeding books, how-to ride books - TONS. I've read them all, and I've got LOTS of hands-on experience, but there's still a lot I *don't* know. I have 6 or 7 books on chickens (and..chickens aren't THAT hard to raise. And there's just NO vet books out there on them - I guess people feel that they're cheap enough that if they get sick, they can die without too much loss for the owner. :sigh:)

Goats, now.....they're a sizable investment. I'd like to KEEP them healthy, thank you...but the recommended vet books are WAY out of my price range. I mean, seriously - "Dieseases of the Goat" runs $120+ on eBay....there's another one out that runs $90+. That's......if I pay THAT much for a book, it's going to stay indoors. I'm NOT going to haul it out to the barn when I have a sick animal - the book is worth TOO DAMN MUCH. I wanted *something* to guide me when the critters get sick - and they will, it's inevitable.

So.....I recently purchased 3 books, and I can highly recommend them. Especially the first one:

"GoatKeeper's Veternary Book" by Peter Dunn. I've only ever seen this one copy - but I HIGHLY recommend you hunt for it. FULL of practical goat medical advice, how-tos.....EXACTLY what I was looking for. Mine was an eBay deal - I got it from an Aussie for....$10, with Airmail shipping. Having flipped thru it, I would be willing to pay $50 or so for it - it's THAT good.

"Practical Goat Keeping and Farming" by A. Abbey. This one and the next I got from Buy.com (again on eBay). They are both reprints of post WWII books, and they are FANTASTIC. This one focuses mainly on practical large-ish scale dairy farming. Practical advice, good ideas - well worth the money.

"Modern Dairy Goats - Goat Keeping" by Mary Gordon. If you don't buy any other book - get this one. Post WWII England, the focus is mainly on small-scale, backyard goat keeping. Lots of no-nonsense advice, and she goes into rationing (which may come to us sooner rather than later). She offers some medical advice - which sounds feasible - but also tells you when you HAVE to call a professional. WELL worth the money. Some of the prices/photos, are, of course, dated - but that doesn't affect the advice.

IF you have goats, or are thinking about getting them, I *highly* recommend these 3. If you're going into Dairy Goats, you need to get "Dairy Goats the Modern Way" (I think Storey has reissued this one under "Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats"...or somesuch). The vet section is a bit thin, but the rest of it is good, solid advice. Skip the other 2 books....these are the ones you *need*.
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